DES MOINES, Iowa – Gov. Kim Reynolds signed HF 594, a bill requiring a 24-hour waiting period for abortions, into law on Monday.
“I am proud to stand up for the sanctity of every human life,” Reynolds said in a released statement. “Life is precious, life is sacred, and we can never stop fighting for it. I applaud the Iowa lawmakers who had the courage to stand strong and take action to protect the unborn child.”
Reynolds pushed in her last two State of the State addresses for a constitutional amendment that would add language to the Iowa Constitution stating there is no right to abortion or taxpayer funding of abortion in the Iowa Constitution.
The amendment was in response to the Iowa Supreme Court declaring Iowa’s 72-hour waiting period to be unconstitutional. They ruled that the waiting period before an abortion violated Iowa’s due process clause and equal protection clause, thus finding a right to abortion in the state constitution.
That effort fell short when three Republican legislators blocked its passage forcing the Iowa Legislature to have to start from scratch in the next General Assembly.
Instead, the Iowa Legislature amended HF 594, Alfie’s Bill, adding the waiting period language to a bill prevents courts from having the authority to withdraw life support from a minor over the objections of their parent or guardian unless there is “conclusive medical evidence” that the child has died and “any electronic brain, heart, or respiratory monitoring activity exhibited to the contrary is a false artifact.”
In the last weekend of the legislative session, the Iowa House amended and passed the bill on a 53 to 42 party-line vote. The Iowa Senate passed the bill on a 31 to 16 party-line vote.
Planned Parenthood and the ACLU filed for a temporary injunction last week to stop the law from going into effect on July 1. Should that lawsuit reach the Iowa Supreme Court, the challenge will go before a court that looks completely different than the one that ruled against a 72-hour waiting period in 2018. Reynolds appointed four of the court’s seven justices who were not on the court in 2018. Also, the two dissenting justices in that case, Justices Edward Mansfield and Thomas Waterman, are still on the court.